Prank videos are becoming commonplace on YouTube, but there are several different types of prank videos floating around. In one instance, you have videos by people like Zaida Pugh, aka Ms. Muffin Pranks, that aim at teaching lessons about racism, domestic violence and abuse.
Pugh has seemingly cornered the market with her version of “What would you do?”-type scenarios. In a recent interview with The Root, Pugh said she wants to use her videos as a wakeup call.
"My pranks kind of wake people up and also see how people feel about [an issue] … I want to see how people feel about it and see what they have to say and how do they react to it, and also I'm trying to do something different from most pranksters [and] have some kind of meaning to it,” Pugh stated.
Then, on the other hand, you have the pranksters who are all about laughs, pretty much at their own expense. With camcorders in hand, they head out to prove that they can make people laugh. Sometimes the videos garner laughs, other times they don’t.
Yousef Saleh Erakat, also known on YouTube as FouseyTube, recently learned the hard way that not everyone finds his videos funny. Especially when they’re aimed at men duped into thinking they’re looking at a woman’s butt.
At one point in the video, one of the men being pranked actually became hostile with the YouTube comic. And it’s this hostility that has seemed to be a focal point of the newest batch of Internet pranksters.
For some reason, these new pranksters seem to get satisfaction out of getting a rise out of black people. On Wednesday a video was uploaded by YouTubers OckTV, and it seems as though they purposely went to the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, N.Y., to antagonize black people.
The video, titled “Time Check in the Hood,” is supposed to garner laughs, but it actually garners violence:
So they really thought that it would be OK to walk up to someone in the “hood” (as they called it) and snatch a phone and expect that person to take it as a joke? Being an antagonist is liable to get you hurt or killed. And it’s far from being funny.
But this isn’t the first time OckTV has hit the “hood” up to garner laughs and prank people. Take a look at “Do You Have a Problem in the Hood?”
These videos have gone from not being pranks to not being funny to actually getting someone hurt. All for a few hits on YouTube.
As someone who has lived in the “hood,” no one likes to be preyed on, and chances are these YouTubers will eventually run into the wrong person who doesn’t know how to take a joke. Then whose fault will it be? The person who stood his or her ground when his or her phone was snatched, or the person who snatched the phone all in the name of LOLs?
Yesha Callahan is editor of The Grapevine and a staff writer at The Root. Follow her on Twitter.